Youngsters give Taylor a winning comeback

Austria Under-21s 0 England Under-21s 2
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The Independent Online

Carlton Cole and Darren Bent ensured Peter Taylor made a winning return to competitive action as England Under-21 coach with a goal each against Austria in the opening European qualifier in Krems.

Carlton Cole and Darren Bent ensured Peter Taylor made a winning return to competitive action as England Under-21 coach with a goal each against Austria in the opening European qualifier in Krems.

Cole, grabbed his third goal in two matches at this level after his brace in last month's friendly against the Ukraine. Bent then continued his impressive run for the Under-21s with his fourth goal in seven games.

England, who face Poland on Tuesday, had enough chances to have won more comfortably, but there were positive signs for stiffer battles ahead. It was Taylor's first competitive match in charge since he was sacked by the then FA technical director, Howard Wilkinson, four years ago after a successful spell. This time, he is combining the role while remaining in charge of Hull City until at least the end of the current campaign.

Taylor has a relatively inexperienced group of players at his disposal, with only three regular Premiership players in Nicky Hunt, Jonathan Stead and Cole.

After 32 minutes, Cole controlled a Gary O'Neil free-kick and sent a low drive into the corner of the net. Austria tried to respond and a mistake by Calum Davenport teed up an opportunity for Stefan Kulovits but his shot was blocked.

Cole responded by turning sharply on the right and he crossed a teasing ball for Stead, but it was just too high for the Blackburn striker, who sent his header over the bar.

Darren Bent arrived on 69 minutes, and hit the bar from a Leighton Baines cross. He secured the result by scoring in the final minute after racing on to Nigel Reo-Coker's pass and slipping his shot pastOzcan.

AUSTRIA UNDER-21: Ozcan; Sonnleitner, Lechner, Berger, Prager; Baldauf (Konrad 68), Schiemer, Kulovits (Schicker 57), Salmutter; Lasnik, Saumel (Obster 68). Substitutes Not Used: Almer, Osoinik, Mimm, Kienast.

ENGLAND UNDER-21: Carson; Hunt, Ferdinand, Davenport, Baines; Pennant (Hoyte 90), Reo-Coker, O'Neil, Downing (Milner 74); Cole, Stead (Bent 69). Substitutes Not Used: Lonergan, Whittingham, Kilgallon, Ashton.

Referee: Alberto Undiano Mallenco (Spain).

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